Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Media Release"
Nov 13, 2018

Speech – Maintaining Skills in Australian Aviation to Protect the National Interest – Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

SPEECH TO AUSTRALIAN LICENSED AIRCRAFT ENGINEERS ASSOCIATION

 I’m glad to have the opportunity to address the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association.

It’s a chance to outline the Labor Party’s thinking on aviation-related issues in the lead-up to the next federal election.

It’s also an opportunity to hear the concerns of your organisation.

This is important.

Aviation is a globalised industry. It is constantly evolving.

The challenge for regulators is to ensure that as aviation evolves – change does not erode existing standards, particularly when it comes to safety.

That’s where your profession plays a central role.

You possess the specialist expertise that can help governments and regulators understand and respond to the full impact of change, without the overlay of commercial pressures.

Indeed, I note that your motto is: To undertake, supervise and certify for the safety of all who fly.

The ALAEA is of course a professional organisation that represents the industrial concerns of your 3,000 members.

But your advocacy takes on extra importance given your crucial expertise on issues of safety.

We need to hear your input.

But it’s not only about safety.

I’m concerned about the way in which the globalisation of the industry threatens the maintenance of aviation skills that a sovereign nation like ours must preserve in the national interest.

We must ensure that we do not allow the evolution of aviation as a global business to lead to the loss of the strategic aviation skills and experiences vital to our nation’s future.

STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT INDUSTRIES

To give you some context about the importance of maintaining skills, let’s take a brief look at the Australian shipping industry.

In the past five years, the Federal Coalition Government has twice attempted to destroy the Australian domestic shipping by exposing it to unfair competition from overseas-flagged vessels paying their crews third world wages.

Its proposed legislation essentially came from a position that lower shipping costs were more desirable than the maintenance of a local industry.

This was a ridiculous proposal.

It would have put Australians out of work.

But worse still, it would have resulted in the demise of a strategically important industry as well as the skilled workforce it trains and employs.

Given the synergies between our merchant fleet and our Navy, this would have been a betrayal of our national security interests.

It is simply common sense that an island nation would want to maintain a growing and home-grown maritime skills base.

Fortunately the Senate rejected the Government’s so-called reforms – or what I dubbed ‘WorkChoices on Water’.

Equally critical to our national security and economic sovereignty is aviation.

Indeed, for a country like Australia, which inhabits a vast island continent located in a remote part of the globe, there are only two ways to facilitate the mass movement of people and commerce both domestically and internationally – one is by sea and the other is by air.

The fact is the aviation industry underpins Australian business and tourism, adding more than $16 billion to the national economy annually and directly employing over 88,000 Australians.

It is an industry that not only connects us with each other, but also with all of the economic opportunity and cultural experiences the globalised world of the twenty-first century has to offer.

Furthermore, defence experts have long recognised the importance of maintaining a domestic aviation workforce.  This ensures Australia has a pool of highly skilled labour that can be quickly mobilised during times of war or other national emergencies.

And lastly – but most importantly – a strong, locally trained domestic aviation workforce is the best way to ensure that we do not put our world class safety record in jeopardy.

It is a hard won safety record that’s second to none.

Simply put, the national interest requires that Australia maintain a solid domestic aviation skills base.

And while the industry is composed of many highly skilled occupations – pilots, air-traffic controllers, firefighting and rescue personnel – none are more critical than the aircraft maintenance engineer.

Your members quite literally keep the planes in air.

AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE

But your part of the industry is under serious pressure. An ageing workforce, outsourcing and offshoring are all raising doubts around the very future of aviation maintenance here in Australia.

The latter of these – offshoring – does cause me some particular concerns.

This practice has resulted in job losses at Australian-based maintenance facilities and fewer training opportunities for aspiring Australian apprentices.

I note also, that as recently as August this year Tigerair Australia had to ground one of its jets after it returned from a maintenance facility in the Philippines with undetected faults.  Despite having been serviced at a Singapore Airlines owned facility, it was discovered that the plane’s cargo bay smoke evacuation system had not been installed correctly.

Later, it was discovered that a flight attendant’s seatbelt had not been properly bolted to a seat.

At the time, your secretary, Steve Purvinas, described the work as having been of the standard of a “home handyman”.

Steve went on to warn in a Sydney Morning Herald article:

“What concerns us most is other latent defects, hidden now, but waiting to resurface at 30,000 feet. They didn’t know about the seatbelts. What else don’t they know?”

Increasingly, airlines have turned to offshore facilities to conduct their heavy maintenance, and I know that the implication of this trend has long been on your organisation’s radar.

I not only share your concerns now, but I acted on them in government.

Indeed, it was one of the reasons the former Federal Labor Government took the decision to commission the development of Australia’s first Aviation White Paper, a road map to help secure the future of the industry while maintaining the highest safety and security standards.

Released in 2009, it addressed areas including industry skills and productivity, consumer protection safety and security, regulation and investigation, air traffic management, airport planning and aviation’s role in reducing global carbon emissions.

It also addressed the issue of overseas maintenance, noting that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority needed to be certain that overseas maintenance was conducted to standards acceptable in this country.

Publication of the paper came with extra financial resources for CASA to recruit additional specialised technical staff to enhance oversight of priority areas including standards of aircraft maintenance undertaken outside of Australia.

Five years on from the change of government, I am disappointed that the four Coalition aviation Ministers that succeed me have done little to advance this issue.

There is no excuse for such a hands-off approach.

As we have seen with shipping, the Coalition appears to operate on the basis that transport industries exist only as line items on some other business’s balance sheet, rather than as vital, strategically important industries in their own right.

A LABOR GOVERNMENT

For reasons of national security, economic sovereignty and safety, Labor will never waiver from the principled position that Australia needs a strong, competitive home-grown aviation industry.

And that must include aircraft maintenance.

The skills and expertise possessed by your members is an important national asset.

Accordingly, we need a set of policies that will not only bring back aircraft maintenance jobs to Australia, but develop our capacity to sell those services and expertise to the world.

Our starting point will be the previously mentioned White Paper.

And I do not underestimate the challenge.

In fact, it has been succinctly summed up by Australian Industry Standards, the government funded body established to develop the skills standards across a range of Australian industries, including aviation.

Echoing my earlier comments, this independent body has concluded:

“The offshoring and/or outsourcing of aircraft maintenance functions by Australian airlines in recent years has had a significant effect on the maintenance engineering training landscape. Several generalist engineering training providers have stopped their aviation courses.

“There is significant concern within the industry that closing engineering training facilities will impede the ability of training providers and maintenance businesses to rebound or take advantage of international growth opportunities.”

Little wonder then that what remains of the local workforce is fast approaching retirement, with the average age of a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer now exceeding 50 years.

One of the first things Labor would look to do is establish a Strategic Aviation Workforce Development Forum and task it with developing strategic responses to the skills issues facing the aviation industry, and building productive working relationships across the industry and with training sectors.

Based on a recommendation in the 2015 University of NSW Business School report entitled The Future of Aircraft Maintenance in Australia, the Forum would seek to bring together representatives from employee organisations, the airlines, the GA sector, manufacturers of aircraft systems/components, aero-skills training providers, and the Australian Defence Force.

Your profession is not a sun-setting industry, and the next Federal Labor Government will explore ways to create new long term career opportunities right here in this country.

But government alone cannot achieve this.

All aspects of the Australian aviation industry, including our airlines, also have a role to play.

Our long term national interest demands nothing less.

THE IR LANDSCAPE

I will now make a few comments about the broader industrial landscape.

What Australia needs most right now is co-operation in the national interest.

For five years the Coalition Government has pursued an ideological crusade to undermine unions and professional organisations like yours.

Its belligerence has been matched only by its indifference to the real challenges facing Australian families, including low wages growth.

Indeed, while the Government has talked up its economic management, the lived experience of Australian workers has been one of hardship and, in many cases, pay cuts.

A Labor Government would shift the industrial relations equation back to the middle-ground.

We want Australian businesses to be successful in the national interest.

But we believe that the products of prosperity should be shared by the many, not monopolised by the few.

Labor would restore the link between wages and productivity.

We would ensure collective bargaining is not undermined by corporate gaming of our IR laws including by preventing the use of sham enterprise agreements and employers simply terminating agreements instead of bargaining.

Additionally, Labor is committed to:

  • Restoring penalty rates and preventing award variations from reducing take home pay;

 

  • Introducing an objective definition of casual employment;

 

  • Stamping out sham independent contracting;

 

  • Introducing a national labour hire licencing scheme to better regulate dodgy labour hire companies;

 

  • Ensuring that labour hire is not used to undermine pay and conditions of direct employees through our same job, same pay policy;

 

  • Introducing a package of reforms to address illegal “phoenixing”, including a director identification number and stronger penalties against directors who avoid liability for employee entitlements.

CONCLUSION

I end today on a positive note.

While aviation faces challenges, I’m optimistic about its outlook.

But we need to develop our potential.

We need an ambitious, flexible business community with an eye for innovation.

We need organisations like the ALAEA which are prepared to not only pursue the immediate industrial concerns of their members, but also to collaborate on the long term challenges and opportunities.

But above all, we need a government that is completely focused on its role in working with industry and labour to create a vision for a better future and take the steps necessary to achieve that vision.

Labor stands ready to do exactly that.

ENDS
TUESDAY, 13 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 12, 2018

Speech – Remembrance Day, Centenary – Sunday, 11 November, 2018

PETERSHAM TOWN HALL, SYDNEY
SUNDAY, 11 NOVEMBER, 2018

REMEMBRANCE DAY, CENTENARY

Today, the 11th of November 2018, marks the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War One – Remembrance Day.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month our entire nation takes pause to recognise and honour those who lost their lives or were injured serving our country in the line of duty. Not only during World War One, but all conflicts where Australians were and are involved.

This morning we are gathered in Petersham Town Hall, in the heart of the Inner West, to commemorate those lost to our local community in times of war.

Men like Walter Ernest Brown.

Mr Brown, a grocer, lived in Petersham and enlisted to fight in World War One on the 26th of July 1915, aged 30.

Brown first served in Egypt in the Imperial Camel Corps and later transferred to the 20th Battalion, comprised of men from the suburbs of Marrickville, Petersham, Leichhardt, Bexley and Hurstville and headed for the Western Front.

Brown fought in the Battles of Morlancourt and Villers-Bretonneux.

On the 6th of July 1918, Brown and his unit were pinned down by a sniper post near Accroche Wood.

Brown located the position of the snipers and ran towards their post alone, with two grenades in-hand. Brown threw the first to no effect. He then threw himself into the sniper post, knocking down one enemy soldier and threatening the remaining men with the final grenade. The 13 men, including one officer, surrendered and were captured by Brown.

Corporal Brown received the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award within the British and Australian honours system, on the 7th of October 1918 from King George V for his efforts. Brown returned to the front until Armistice Day, but his story did not end when the First World War concluded.

Brown returned home to work and married his wife, Maude Dillon, on the 4th of June 1932.

In 1940 Brown enlisted to serve in World War Two, lying about his age and stating that he was 43-years-old, not 57.

On the 14th of February 1942 Walter Ernest Brown was fighting in Singapore when the order to surrender to the Japanese came through. Brown turned to his mates and said: “No surrender for me.” He picked up several grenades and ran to meet the enemy.

He was never seen again.

Today, we remember Corporal Brown.

We honour Corporal Brown.

The Bindoff family lived at 17 Windsor Road in Petersham. Alfred Edward Bindoff, a railway signalman, was married to Phoebe Alice Butler, a Budawang Aboriginal woman from Yuin country on the South Coast of New South Wales.

Married in 1893, they had seven children. Alfred and his three sons – Harold, David and Edgar enlisted. Only Alfred and Harold would return home.

Edgar was the first member of the family to enlist on the 28th of January 1915. He was also the first to fall.

On the 13th of September 1915 at Lone Pine, Gallipoli, Edgar George Bindoff, aged 20, succumbed to wounds sustained on the battlefield and died.

After Edgar’s death, his father Alfred, and his brothers David and Harold, aged 18 and 22 respectively, immediately enlisted, sailing to the front on the 30th of September 1915, a mere 17 days after Edgar’s death.

At the age of just 18, David Bindoff was killed in action in France on the 27th of July 1916 during the Somme Offensive.

The Bindoff family were among several Indigenous men from Petersham who fought in World War One. The neighbouring suburbs of Marrickville, St Peters and Leichhardt also had a number of Indigenous volunteers, a small and largely unrecognised proportion of the local population.

The contribution of Indigenous soldiers is still not fully recognised. Legislation at the time prevented Indigenous people from enlisting. Some Army recruiters adopted a variable approach to Indigenous volunteers, both accepting and, at other times, rejecting them. Many volunteers pretended to be of Southern European Ancestry to enlist.

Just think about that.

The fact that Indigenous volunteers were required to lie about their ancestry to fight for their own country remains a sad and shocking part of our history.

Today, we remember the Bindoff family and all Indigenous Australians who have fought for our country, past and present.

Indeed, we remember all Australians lost to us in conflict; whose selflessness and ultimate sacrifice, secured our future.

Across World War I, out of a population of less than five million at the time, 61,522 Australians lost their lives.

During my most recent visit to Canberra, I stopped at the Australian War Memorial to visit the 62,000 poppies display.

Spread across the memorial gardens, the hand-made display of thousands of red flowers commemorates the recorded number of Australian casualties sustained throughout World War One.

62,000 hand-made red poppies.

The culmination of a project began by Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight, who crocheted 120 poppies to plant at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne on the 11th of November 2013, in honour of their fathers.

Twenty-five years ago today, Prime Minister Paul Keating gave his remarkable eulogy at the internship of the Unknown Soldier at the Australian War Memorial.

In this historic Town Hall where I had the honour of hosting Paul Keating two years ago, I wish to quote an excerpt from that speech.

“He may have been one of those who believed that the Great War would be an adventure too grand to miss. He may have felt that he would never live down the shame of not going. But the chances are he went for no other reason than that he believed it was his duty – the duty he owed his country and his King.

Because the Great War was a mad, brutal, awful struggle, distinguished more often than not by military and political incompetence; because the waste of human life was so terrible that some said victory was scarcely discernible from defeat; and because the war which was supposed to end all wars in fact sowed the seeds of a second, even more terrible, war –  we might think this Unknown Soldier died in vain.

But, in honouring our war dead, as we always have and as we do today, we declare that this is not true.

For out of the war came a lesson which transcended the horror and tragedy and the inexcusable folly.

It was a lesson about ordinary people – and the lesson was that they were not ordinary.

On all sides they were the heroes of that war; not the generals and the politicians but the soldiers and sailors and nurses – those who taught us to endure hardship, to show courage, to be bold as well as resilient, to believe in ourselves, to stick together.

The Unknown Australian Soldier we inter today was one of those who by his deeds proved that real nobility and grandeur belong not to empires and nations, but to the people on whom they, in the last resort, always depend.

That is surely at the heart of the ANZAC story”.

I hope that in another 100 years’ time this Town Hall is again as full as it is today.

With people once again remembering the sacrifice of soldiers and civilians alike in wars long past, both won and lost.

And I truly hope that in 100 years there is also silent gratitude, that there has not been another significant armed conflict to commemorate.

It is vital that we as a nation remember the sacrifice of veterans, and their families, current serving members of our armed forces and civilians, affected by war.

It is also vital that as we remember their sacrifice, we also hope for a present and future without war.

Today, we honour those who have served.

We honour those who continue to serve overseas and at home.

Lest we forget.

ENDS

SUNDAY, 11 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 5, 2018

Media Release – Gold Coast Light Rail Investment Needlessly Delayed – Monday, 5 November, 2018

Scott Morrison’s re-announcement of his plan to invest in Stage III of the Gold Coast Light Rail project is a monument to time-wasting and needless politics.

This stage of the project, which the Prime Minister “announced’’ on the Gold Coast today, was actually funded in the 2018 Budget in May when Malcolm Turnbull was Prime Minister. The news was leaked to the Herald Sun newspaper.

But the Coalition deliberately chose to delay releasing the funding as they waited for a political campaigning opportunity like Mr Morrison’s current bus tour of Queensland.

In the same way, as Mr Morrison heads north through Queensland this week, he is likely to “announce’’ other already funded projects like the Rockhampton Ring Road and the Mackay Ring Road (Stage II), which Labor has already committed to funding.

If the Coalition had released the funding for these important projects at Budget time, work could already be under way, creating jobs and economic activity across Queensland.

Infrastructure investment should be treated as a key plank of economic policy, but for Mr Morrison it’s all about campaign opportunities.

Despite its attempts to claim credit for Gold Coast Light Rail, the Coalition is no friend of the project.

In 2009, when the former Labor Government provided $365 million for Stage I of the project as part of our economic stimulus package, the Coalition opposed the investment at the state and federal level.

Five years later, when Stage I opened, shameless Gold Coast Coalition MPs including Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo fell over each other to pose for media photographs seeking to claim credit for the project they had campaigned against.

If it had been left to them, Gold Coast Light Rail would never have been ready for this year’s successful Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

After five years of infrastructure cuts the Coalition is now trying to play catch-up to Labor, which has led from Opposition by developing sensible plans for rail and road investment around the nation.

Whatever Mr Morrison claims he is doing on infrastructure, the independent Parliamentary Budget Office exposed the truth earlier this year in a report warning that over the next four years, Federal infrastructure grants to the states as a percentage of GDP will halve to 0.2 per cent.

MONDAY, 5 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 1, 2018

Opinion Piece – Rail can relieve the burden for Western Sydney – Thursday, 1 November, 2018

Australia’s cities are in a state of transition.

There was a time in Australia when you could live close to an Australian capital city CBD in a house on a quarter acre.

But in 2018, strong population growth is taking us into a new era featuring higher population densities and a mix of detached housing, apartments and town houses.

While that transition is manageable, the impediment we face is that in many respects our transport infrastructure is designed for the old Australia, not the nation we inhabit in the 21st century.

That is why traffic congestion is undermining economic growth and eroding our quality of life.

For millions of Australians traffic congestion is a ball and chain that is ruining their lives and forcing them to take long daily commutes, often on expensive toll roads.

Many have no access to public transport as an alternative.

It is a tragedy that many Australian commuters spend more time travelling to and from work in their cars than they spend at home playing with their children.

It is time for governments to work together to confront this serious problem in the national interest.

In the past, too many leaders have chosen to turn away.

For example, when Tony Abbott took office in 2013, he cancelled billions of dollars’ worth of public transport investment that had been put in the Federal Budget by the previous Labor Government.

That included removing funding for the Parramatta to Epping Rail Line that would have been opening soon. That project would have opened up access for Western Sydney to the high-value jobs around Macquarie Park and taken pressure off the Western Line.

Mr Abbott’s reason, as he outlined in his 2009 book Battlelines, was that he believes Australians don’t want to use public transport and enjoy the freedom that comes with being what Mr Abbott called “kings in their cars’’.

This ideological position has distorted infrastructure priorities in Sydney away from public transport, towards toll roads.

And that has meant a rush in planning so that the Westconnex project no longer resembles the priority identified by Infrastructure NSW to improve freight movements around the Port. Indeed it has become a road to more roads under the NSW Liberal Government.

Westconnex has been poorly planned, is massively over-budget and has been imposed upon communities with inadequate consultation.

But putting that aside, the problem for Sydney is that there has not been sufficient investment in rail.

That’s where the Western Metro can help.

The proposal is for a 25km underground rail line with new stations, linking the Sydney CBD to Parramatta via the Bays Precinct and Sydney Olympic Park.

This would be a game changer for Parramatta and the jobs hubs around Olympic Park and the Bays Precinct.

It would not only make it easier for commuters to get to and from work, but would also strengthen links between the Sydney CBD and the Parramatta CBD.

This project can be a genuine catalyst for the creation of more jobs closer to where people live, which is a critical requirement to deal with the demographic pressures we are facing.

It is a good thing that both the NSW Government and the Labor Opposition led by Luke Foley have committed to the project.

As for Federal Labor, our intentions are clear. Labor Leader Bill Shorten has committed $3 billion to the Western Metro plus a further $3 billion for the Western Sydney Rail Line, a north-south link through Western Sydney which will connect the new Western Sydney Airport to the Sydney passenger network.

The Federal Government has yet to match Federal Labor’s commitment.

It should do so now.

Australians are sick of the politics of division. They want practical action on issues that actually matter, such as Australians being able to get to and from work in a reasonable time.

This is an edited transcript of Anthony Albanese’s to yesterday’s (OCT 31) speech to the Western Metro Forum in Sydney.

Oct 30, 2018

Media Release – Labor will expand Commuter Parking at Northgate Train Station – Monday, 29 October 2018

Federal Labor will contribute $7 million to expand Park and Ride facilities at the Northgate train station to ease parking shortages and encourage more commuters to use public transport.

Federal Labor’s investment will be drawn from its $300 million National Park and Ride Fund for new or expanded car parks at public transport hubs and will be delivered in partnership with the Queensland State Government.

Each weekday nearly 750 commuters seek to park at Northgate. But the station has only 377 parking bays over four car parks.

This means commuters rushing to catch their trains to work are forced to park in surrounding streets and walk to the station, creating more congestion and inconvenience to nearby residents.

A Federal Labor Government will move quickly to work with the Queensland Government on the upgrade.

Across Australia, traffic congestion is acting as a hand brake on productivity and is eroding our national quality of life.

The problem has worsened during the five years of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government, which has cut funding for public transport projects, including Cross River Rail, at a time when strong population growth required increased investment.

Shadow Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the Northgate expansion would make a real, practical difference for Northside commuters while also reducing congestion for local residents.

“We’ll not only invest in new public transport services, but also deliver practical measures to help commuters get to work with a minimum of fuss, including through our new Park and Ride Fund,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“Public transport isn’t just about the train line or bus route itself. It’s also about the surrounding infrastructure that makes it work for local residents.’’

Labor candidate for Lilley Anika Wells said population growth and traffic congestion were of critical concern to people in Lilley and right across the Brisbane Northside.

“Northsiders are fed up with the Morrison Government focusing entirely on itself, rather than opportunities to help our community,’’ Ms Wells said.

“I’m proud to be part of the team which is putting in the work to deliver practical solutions that will make daily life easier for Northside commuters and the local residents.

“Thanks to people like Wayne Swan, Labor has always been the party which in Government has delivered nation-building infrastructure here on the Northside. I hope to be able to deliver this project for Lilley as a member of a Shorten Labor Government.”

Labor’s plans for Northgate Station follow its announcement for Cross River Rail, South East Queensland’s number one infrastructure project, that will deliver a $2.4 billion congestion busting upgrade to the Queensland rail network.

Oct 27, 2018

Media Release – Labor will Expand Commuter Parking at Tarneit Train Station – Saturday, 27 October, 2018

Federal Labor and the Andrews State Labor Government will jointly fund a $15 million expansion of car parking facilities at Tarneit train station to ease shortages and encourage more commuters to use public transport.

Federal Labor’s $7.5 million contribution will come from its $300 million National Park and Ride Fund for new or expanded car parks at public transport hubs.

The Tarneit station is part of the Regional Rail Link, which opened in June 2015.

Extremely strong population growth, triggered in part by the completion of Regional Rail, means the 1000-space carpark is now full by 7.30am each weekday.

Commuters rushing to catch their trains to work are forced to park in surrounding streets and walk to the station, causing more congestion and inconvenience to nearby residents.

A Federal Labor Government would partner with the Victorian State Government to deliver up to 400 extra parking spaces.

Across Australia, traffic congestion is acting as a hand brake on productivity and economic growth and is eroding our quality of life.

The problem has worsened during the five years of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government, which has cut funding for public transport projects and provided no policy leadership to other levels of government on the productivity, sustainability and liveability of cities.

Shadow Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the Tarneit expansion would make a real, practical difference for commuters while also reducing congestion for local residents.
“We’ll not only invest in new public transport services, but also deliver practical measures to help commuters get to work with minimum fuss, including through our new Park and Ride Fund,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“Public transport isn’t just about the train line or bus route itself. It’s also about the surrounding infrastructure that makes it work for local residents.’’

Labor Member for Lalor Joanne Ryan said that while the Federal Coalition Government was consumed by chaos, Labor was focused on positive plans to address issues of practical concern to Australians.

“I know how important the issue of car parking is to locals in my community,’’ Ms Ryan said.

“People want to catch the train to work. Governments need to work together to make that easier.’’

“When last in government, Labor built the Regional Rail Link, demonstrating that people want to use public transport in Melbourne’s outer western suburbs.”

“If elected, Labor will again look after the residents of Melbourne’s outer western suburbs by making sure that they have access to public transport.”

SATURDAY, 27 OCTOBER, 2018

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Oct 24, 2018

Media Release – Morrison Must Release Funding for Mackay Ring Road – Wednesday, 28 October 2018

Scott Morrison should immediately release the funding he has secretly allocated for the Mackay Ring Road and get on with delivering this important project.

According to media leaks, the Federal Government allocated funding to 10 infrastructure projects including the Mackay Ring Road Stage II six months ago in its 2018 Budget.

But it cynically chose to sit on the funding, delaying its announcement until the next Federal election campaign.

In Question Time today Shadow Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese asked Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack : “Why at a time when the road toll is rising and congestion in our cities is worsening, is the Government sitting on these projects and not getting on with the job of delivering them?’’

But Mr McCormack refused to address the question.

Mr Albanese said the Government should end its political games and release the investment now so it can be put to use in the public interest.

“Scott Morrison should stop pussy footing around,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“Commencing this project now would create much-needed economic activity and construction jobs in the short term and generate productivity gains once the project is completed.

“The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has spent five years cutting infrastructure investment and is now engaged in delaying projects until it suits their partisan political convenience.

“Either that or the investment is not real and the projects would be pushed off into the Never-Never by a re-elected Morrison Government.’’

Labor candidate for Dawson Belinda Hassan said Federal Labor had already committed $102 million to build the Ring Road in partnership with the Queensland Government.

“If both major parties agree the Ring Road Stage II should go ahead, there is no reason why we shouldn’t get to work as soon as possible,’’ Ms Hassan said.

“This project will make a real difference to our community and we demand action now.’

Oct 24, 2018

Media Release – Morrison Must Release Funding for Linkfield Road Overpass

Scott Morrison should immediately release the funding he has secretly allocated for the Linkfield Road Overpass and get on with this important project.

According to media leaks, the Federal Government allocated investment for 10 major infrastructure projects including the Linkfield Road Overpass six months ago, in the 2018 Budget.

But it cynically chose to sit on the funding for announcement during the next Federal election campaign.

In Question Time today Shadow Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese asked Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack: “Why at a time when the road toll is rising and congestion in our cities is worsening, is the Government sitting on these projects and not getting on with the job of delivering them?’’

But Mr McCormack failed to address the question.

Mr Albanese said Prime Minister Scott Morrison should end the political games and release the money now so it can be put to use in the public interest.

“Scott Morrison should stop pussy footing around,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“Commencing this project now would create much-needed economic activity and construction jobs in the short term and important productivity gains once the project is completed.

“The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has spent five years cutting infrastructure investment and now wants more delays to suit its political convenience.

“Either that or the investment is not real and the projects would be pushed off into the Never-Never by a re-elected Morrison Government.’’

Labor candidate for Dickson Ali France said Federal Labor committed $60 million for the Linkfield Road Overpass in August.

“If both the Coalition and Labor all agree the overpass is necessary, we should stop looking for unnecessary delays and obstacles and get on with the job in the public interest,’’ Ms France said.

“This overpass will make a real difference to my community in terms of road safety and convenience.

“We’ve waited long enough.’’

Oct 24, 2018

Media Release – Morrison Must Release Funding For Rockhampton Ring Road – Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Scott Morrison should immediately release the funding he has secretly allocated for the Rockhampton Ring Road and get on with this important project.

According to media leaks, the Federal Government allocated investment for 10 major infrastructure projects, including the Rockhampton Ring Road, six months ago in the 2018 Budget.

But it cynically chose to delay announcing the work until the next Federal election campaign.

In Question Time today Shadow Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese asked Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack: “Why at a time when the road toll is rising and congestion in our cities is worsening, is the Government sitting on these projects and not getting on with the job of delivering them?’’

But Mr McCormack failed to address the question.

Mr Albanese said Prime Minister Scott Morrison should end the political games and release the money now so it can be put to use in the public interest.

“Scott Morrison should stop pussy footing around,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“Commencing this project now would create much-needed economic activity and construction jobs in the short term and important productivity gains once the project is completed.

“The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has spent five years cutting infrastructure investment and now wants more delays to suit its political convenience.

“Either that or the investment is not real and the projects would be pushed off into the Never-Never by a re-elected Morrison Government.’’

Labor candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson said Federal Labor had already committed investment for the Ring Road, which was recommended in the Fitzroy River Floodplain and Road Planning study, commissioned by the former Labor Government in June, 2009, and completed in December, 2011.

“If there is bipartisan support we should just get on with the job,’’ Mr Robertson said.

“The Ring Road project would make a real difference in my community by eliminating traffic congestion and improving road safety.

“We have already waited too long, but Morrison Government is creating more unnecessary delays.’’

The Rockhampton Ring Road will run from the Yeppen Roundabout, along the western side of the airport to a third bridge crossing before reconnecting with the existing Bruce Highway at Parkhurst.

Oct 15, 2018

Media Release – It’s time for the Morrison Government to get behind High Speed Rail – Monday, 15 October 2018

Today I re-introduced to Parliament a Private Member’s Bill that would create an authority to begin detailed planning for construction of a High Speed Rail Link from Brisbane to Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra.

High Speed Rail down Australia’s east coast would revolutionise interstate travel, allowing people to move between capital cities in as little as three hours.

It would also turbo charge the economic development of the regional centres along its route, including the Gold Coast, Casino, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, the Central Coast, Southern Highlands, Wagga Wagga, Albury-Wodonga and Shepparton.

According to a leaked list of Coalition budget decisions made but not yet announced, the Morrison Government has already decided to support High Speed Rail after five years of ignoring the project.

However, it has decided to hold back that investment for political purposes, intending to announce it during the coming Federal election campaign.

This Bill represents an opportunity to put the politics aside get High Speed Rail moving now in the national interest.

It would create a High Speed Rail Authority which would immediately begin work to finalise the track alignment and a business case and identify opportunities for private sector involvement.

In 2013 the former Labor Government conducted a feasibility study into the project which found it was viable, producing $2.50 of economic benefit for every dollar invested on the Sydney-Melbourne section alone.

We then appointed an expert panel including former Nationals Leader Tim Fischer, Business Council of Australian chief executive Jennifer Westacott and the late Australasian Railways Association chief Bryan Nye to review that study.

The panel recommended the creation of a delivery authority to work with the governments of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory on detailed planning and corridor acquisition.

My Private Member’s Bill would establish that authority.

This is the fifth time since 2013 I have introduced this piece of legislation.

To this point, the Government has refused to facilitate debate.

Now is the time to adopt a bi-partisan approach to this important project.

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